|Tigers hold first practice with freshmen, new look helmet|
|by David Hood - Senior Writer - Friday, August 2, 2013 7:44 PM||
CLEMSON – The rumors that have been floating around for years looked like they finally came true Friday afternoon during Clemson’s initial practice of the 2013 season – the Tigers were wearing white helmets.
Closer inspection, however, revealed that the players were wearing Guardian Caps, a soft shell helmet cover that is designed to reduce head injuries. The caps will be worn during practice for the foreseeable future, and are waterproof and also heat resistant, so they help reduce injuries related to the heat.
While the caps were ungainly and clumsy looking, there was nothing ungainly or clumsy about Clemson’s group of freshmen. In fact, the first time I saw wide receiver Mike WilliamsMike Williams
Fr. Wide Receiver
#7 6-5, 205
View Full Profile in his No. 7 jersey, my first thought was that Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Jr. Wide Receiver
#1 6-5, 200
Calhoun Falls, SC
View Full Profile had switched numbers. Williams looks like he has been in the program for two years or more and he looks physically ready to earn early playing time.
Other notes from the first part of the practice:
*Another receiver that had the “wow” factor was freshman T.J. GreenT.J. Green
#82 6-2, 189
View Full Profile, who ran routes and fielded punts during a special teams drill. It’s easy to see that Green is raw when it comes to the nuances of the game, but his natural athletic ability pops out at you.
Wide receivers coach Jeff ScottJeff Scott
Asst. Coach (WR) / Recruiting Coord.
View Full Profile was in Green’s hip pocket during much of the first three periods, and was giving the freshman pointers on how to field punts and use a “more stable base” instead of running and catching the ball at the same time.
*Speaking of special teams – punter Bradley PinionBradley Pinion
#92 6-5, 230
View Full Profile was booming kicks during the early part of the session. He had two punts at one point that went over 60 yards each, and he looks smoother and more consistent with his drop. It’s easy to tell he has put in a lot of work.
*Also on special teams – redshirt freshman Germone HopperGermone Hopper
RS Fr. Wide Receiver
#5 6-0, 170
View Full Profile looks like he could be the answer at punt return. Admit it – there were times over the last two seasons when both DeAndre HopkinsDeAndre Hopkins
#6 6-2, 205
View Full Profile Hopkins and Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL
View Full Profile scared you with the way they handled punts. Hopper looks smooth and has great hands. And, if it’s possible, he looks like he has a faster first step than Sammy.
Watkins, MacKensie AlexanderMacKensie Alexander
Fr. Defensive Back
#2 5-11, 185
View Full Profile, Adrien Dunn and Daniel RodriguezDaniel Rodriguez
RS So. Wide Receiver
#83 5-8, 175
View Full Profile all worked out with the punt return group.
*Defensive tackle Josh WatsonJosh Watson
RS Jr. Defensive Tackle
#91 6-4, 285
View Full Profile looks leaner and stronger than he did during the spring. I’ve been told that Watson might be the strongest player on the defense, that he and Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Jr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
View Full Profile are neck and neck in that regard.
*Freshman running back Tyshon DyeTyshon Dye
Fr. Running Back
#23 6-1, 205
View Full Profile has the dreads and wears No. 23 and looks a little bit like former running back Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
#23 5-10, 195
Moncks Corner, SC
View Full Profile out on the field. However, he looks thicker and stronger than Ellington. Can’t wait to see him in action.
*Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Jr. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
View Full Profile also looks the part of a dominant player, and I’m told he would be in even better shape if he hadn’t had four wisdom teeth taken out recently.
*Kicker Ammon LakipAmmon Lakip
RS So. Kicker
#36 5-10, 185
View Full Profile , who left the team during the spring to deal with a family issue, was back with the team Friday afternoon and took part in all the drills. He was working with the second team field goal unit.
*Charone PeakeCharone Peake
Jr. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 200
View Full Profile was very vocal with the younger receivers during drills, telling the freshman how to run their routes and teaching little things here and there. If Peake takes that next step, watch out.
*Quarterback Chad KellyChad Kelly
RS Fr. Quarterback
#11 6-2, 210
View Full Profile, who had surgery to repair his torn ACL following spring practice, took part in some of the drills Friday. He was, of course, limited, and during lateral movement warm-ups, he looked like a player who is just a few months removed from surgery.
However, he looked like he was moving really well during other drills, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make a return this season.
*Could former linebacker Lateek TownsendLateek Townsend
#20 6-2, 215
View Full Profile be back with the team? Townsend left school after spring practice, but I’m hearing he could be back with the team this fall. He wasn’t at Friday’s practice – I am told to watch out for the start of school. I was told he had a lot of things he had to do in order to make his way back, and those items haven’t been completed. We will know more about his situation later, but right now it looks 50-50 on whether he will be back.
*2015 quarterback Chason Virgil of Mesquite (TX) West Mesquite was at Friday's practice, along with older brother and West Mesquite assistant coach Chazz Virgil.
Virgil told TigerNet before the practice that the pair drove 15 hours, and that he wanted to see the campus and get to know offensive coordinator Chad Morris a little better.
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